She is a singer and an award winning actress. Now veteran stage star, Marin Mazzie is facing the most challenging role of her life.
It was opening night of Zobra at City Center.
"That was the day I found out, I'll never forget," Marin Mazzie said. "I had stage 4 ovarian cancer that had metastasized."
And this leading lady didn't miss a beat.
"I stepped out on stage and I said the line, 'life is what you do while you are waiting to die' and I was like John Kander and Fred Ebb are scoring my life right now," she laughed.
But, Marin mazzie is not waiting around for anything. She's always been healthy and diligent about get checkups. There is no early detection test for ovarian cancer, but, there is one indicator.
"The one thing I did not have was the BRCA test because I did not fit the profile," she remembered. "I eventually found out I had the BRCA 2 gene mutation."
That gene causes a 50 percent higher chance of getting cancer.
"If I would have had the test, the blood test, and all it is , is a blood test they would have seen it and I possibly never would have developed ovarian cancer," she said. "But I can't go back , and everything happens for a reason and I have ovarian cancer and I can help other women."
And she is making her voice heard, taking her message all the way to Capitol Hill.
"I was up there with my husband Jason Danieley, I think they were really excited just to have someone as a representative of women, someone who has ovarian cancer, there to say okay we’ve got to do something about this," she explained.
Marin is determined to remain positive.
"From the very beginning, I didn’t cry, I didn’t say why is this happening to me," she said. "I remember just sitting straight up and going okay what do we have to do."
That meant 12 weeks of chemotherapy before having surgery.
"I couldn’t sit there and look at those bags and say this is poison going in me, this is saving my life," she remembered. "The only reason I'm going to be alive is because this stuff is going in my body so I just said this is healing therapy."
Marin's journey is far from over.
"The cancer has recurred I am back in healing therapy," she shared. "I say I am a very healthy woman who happens to have ovarian cancer."
And although her journey is a very personal one, Marin hopes it will bring awareness of ovarian cancer to other women.
"It’s a very silent cancer so knowing your body and being aware of your body is so important," she said. "Any little change could possibly be something that’s happening and I want people to change their views that cancer is this death card."
Marin is back at it, she just started reading for a revival of Pal Joey directed by Tony Goldwyn.
And she is being honored Monday with the Phyllis Newman Dame Award.